Emery attracts interest

Sens goaltender Ray Emery is sparking some interest, especially in Boston. (Sun File/Errol McGihon)

Sens goaltender Ray Emery is sparking some interest, especially in Boston. (Sun File/Errol McGihon)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

With July 1 fast approaching, Ray Emery is drawing interest from NHL suitors, the Sun has learned.

J.P. Barry, Emery's Calgary-based agent, confirmed yesterday he has had talks with two teams willing to make the Senators goalie an offer sheet as a restricted free agent.

"He is an elite goalie so I'm not surprised by the fact some teams would consider making an offer for his services," said Barry, co-managing director of CAA Sports.

Boston, St. Louis and Los Angeles are believed to be among the teams looking for goaltending help and may have held discussions with Barry about the 24-year-old Emery.

Talks were allowed to start last week, but no offers can be made until the start of free agency Sunday. The Senators have the right to match any offer Emery receives, but that could make it more costly for GM Bryan Murray to retain Emery, who earned $925,000 (all terms US) last season.

BRUINS TOP LIST

It's believed the Bruins have the most interest in Emery. GM Peter Chiarelli is a former Senators assistant GM. If Chiarelli makes a successful offer of between $3.5 million and $4.7 million for Emery, Boston would have to give up a first-, second- and third-round pick in 2008 to Ottawa.

Emery can also file for arbitration and could get an award close to the $4.5 million that Rick DiPietro is making with the New York Islanders. Emery had a 33-16-6 record with a 2.47 goals-against average last season and played a big role in the Senators reaching the Stanley Cup final.

Emery has until July 5 to decide whether to file for arbitration. If he receives no offer sheets, that's the route he'll likely take because he's had only brief contract discussions with Murray.

"Emery has an excellent arbitration case in any event, so the window for an offer isn't very long," said Barry. "We will see if the interest is serious or not next week."

Still, Barry said Emery's No. 1 priority is to remain in Ottawa.

"I look forward to talking to (Murray) more because (Emery) would like to be with the Senators for many more years if possible," he said.

QUALIFYING OFFER

Emery has already received a qualifying offer from the club, along with centre Chris Kelly, defenceman Christoph Schubert and winger Oleg Saprykin.

The Senators want to retain Kelly and Schubert, but it's believed Murray doesn't want to keep Saprykin, who isn't interested in playing a fourth-line role.

Saprykin received a qualifying offer of $1.064 million from GM John Muckler before Muckler was fired by club owner Eugene Melnyk.

Sources say Saprykin could be awarded up to $1.8 million in arbitration, which makes the decision by Muckler even more difficult to swallow for Murray.

The Senators are also trying to move goaltender Martin Gerber and his $3.7-million salary. Phoenix has a mild interest, but the Coyotes aren't willing to take on his contract unless the Senators take defenceman Derek Morris and his $3.9-million salary in return.

NOTE: Jacques Beaulieu, the coach of the QMJHL's Saint John Sea Dogs, told the Telegraph-Journal newspaper yesterday that he has held talks with Dale Hunter about being an assistant in Ottawa if the London Knights coach is hired as the new Senators coach. It's believed Hunter will interview for the post next week, along with Randy Cunneyworth, coach of the AHL Rochester Americans.


Videos

Photos